Government funding for a drug that prevents HIV infection has just been given the green light.

PrEP will be made available to people at high risk of contracting HIV and its hope it'll dramatically reduce the transmission of the disease in this country.

PrEP will reduce the risk of contracting HIV by at least 92%.

Sarah Fitt of PHARMAC estimates up to 4000 people with a high risk of contracting HIV will be eligible for PrEP treatment.

“The benefits are it's been shown to be highly clinically effective and reducing rates of infection in patients with higher risk, so the evidence is there and our expert advice have assessed that evidence.”

According to Body Positive’s Mark Fisher, Māori are overrepresented in the statistics.

“9% of the men who have sex with men last year were Māori so they are over-represented in terms of the population. So we need to have a way to connect into that group to make sure they have access to all the tools. This is the opportunity that we have.”

For almost 20 years Dr Tawhanga Nopera has been living HIV positive and says the announcement is a start but more needs to be done amongst the communities.

“HIV is about poverty, HIV is about drugs and alcoholism, HIV is about a lot of social factors that we don't talk about and it can get anybody. So when I think there is a discussion about PREP in our community through government media there also needs to be a discussion about what HIV actually is and who it impacts upon.”

From 1 March, PREP will be accessible to those who are eligible.

Government funding for a drug that prevents HIV infection has just been given the green light.

PrEP will be made available to people at high risk of contracting HIV and its hope it'll dramatically reduce the transmission of the disease in this country.

PrEP will reduce the risk of contracting HIV by at least 92%.

Sarah Fitt of PHARMAC estimates up to 4000 people with a high risk of contracting HIV will be eligible for PrEP treatment.

“The benefits are it's been shown to be highly clinically effective and reducing rates of infection in patients with higher risk, so the evidence is there and our expert advice have assessed that evidence.”

According to Body Positive’s Mark Fisher, Māori are overrepresented in the statistics.

“9% of the men who have sex with men last year were Māori so they are over-represented in terms of the population. So we need to have a way to connect into that group to make sure they have access to all the tools. This is the opportunity that we have.”

For almost 20 years Dr Tawhanga Nopera has been living HIV positive and says the announcement is a start but more needs to be done amongst the communities.

“HIV is about poverty, HIV is about drugs and alcoholism, HIV is about a lot of social factors that we don't talk about and it can get anybody. So when I think there is a discussion about PREP in our community through government media there also needs to be a discussion about what HIV actually is and who it impacts upon.”

From 1 March, PREP will be accessible to those who are eligible.

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